Are there any other fans of this sordid, silly trash masterpiece from the ever-fascinating Angelo Pannaccio? It's a really rare film that I've hardly ever seen being discussed in spite of its really cool cast. After finally watching this weird and wonderful film I thought I'd share some of my enthusiasm for it.
SEX OF THE WITCH is a weird giallo of sorts with a Jeckyll and Hyde-style supernatural plotline thrown in for good measure. It deals with the a rich family called the Hiltons and as the film starts, the head of the family, Sir Thomas Hilton, is on his death bed. He is surrounded by all of his nieces and nephews who have faithfully come to be with him in his final moments. No, actually, most of them are there to collect their inheritance. And while poor Sir Thomas is drawing his final breaths, the mansion's perverted servant couple are fucking like crazy on top of the casket Sir Thomas is soon to be buried in - a really tasteless sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Anyway, the old uncle dies and the greedy cousions (which includes familiar faces like Camille Keaton and bitchy, blonde Lorenza Guerrieri from SCHOOLGIRL KILLER and FEMINA RIDENS) gather for the reading of the will. The vast fortune is to be devided in equal parts among the cousins and also the uncle's young gay lover (Gianni Dei from GIALLO A VENEZIA and PATRICK STILL LIVES). However, there's a clause in the will that each of the heirs will have to turn 30 before they can collect their inheritance. Should anyone of them die before hitting 30, their share will be devided among the survivors. Well now! Don't you just smell a good motive for murder already? We also learn that Sir Thomas has disinherited his only daughter, Evelyn (played by the one and only Jessica Dublin, whose amazing career is worthy of a separate thread or perhaps an entire book) because she is a mean and hateful bitch. Unfortunately, Evelyn is the only one who knows the mysterious "secret of the Hiltons", which Sir Thomas had hoped to take with him to the grave. Anyway, the cousins soon start dying one by one as they are offed by a mysterious killer (who isn't wearing black gloves for a change). I won't reveal any more; except that it all has something to do with "the secret of the Hiltons!"
If SEX OF THE WITCH is somewhat lacking in gore and blood, it more than makes up for this in terms of sheer lunacy and sleaze. There's plenty of sex and nudity, a woman who spends most of the film making erotic clay sculptures, Camille Keaton's creepy brother having incestuous feelings for her, a totally irrelevant but cool psychedelic nightclub sequence that ends in an orgy, Camille ending up all catatonic and fucked-up like in I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, 70s mod fashions and funky decor, an agreeable score with lulling female vocals (also used briefly in FRANKENSTEIN 80), and lots of familiar genre veterans like Donal O'Brien in a rare sympathetic role as the inept police inspector, crazy-looking Franco Garofalo from HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD and the sexy Marzia Damon from THE HAND THAT FEEDS DEATH as the horny servant couple. On top of it all, the method the killer uses to disguise his/her identity has to be the
craziest I've ever seen in a giallo, and that's saying something! A lot of it doesn't make that much sense, though, and it may be too weird for some but I loved every minute of this trashy gem!
Unfortunately, it's not too easy to get hold of. I saw it via a Dutch release that was in Italian with Dutch subs. Thanks to very limited knowledge of Italian and knowing a bit of Dutch I was still able to follow the plot. I don't think this has ever shown up on vhs in an English dub but the IMDb lists THE EVIL EYE as its US title. Does anyone know if this was actually released theatrically under that title? Or has someone perhaps confused it with Mario Siciliano's THE EVIL EYE from 1974? In any case, I hope SEX OF THE WITCH gets a dvd release as it really deserves one. Angelo Pannaccio is a really fascinating director. He later made the even crazier HOLOCAUST: THE MEMORIES, DELIRIUM AND THE VENDETTA, PART TWO (1978) and several hardcore pornos with Marina Frajese.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this one?